Abbot told to cease face-gilding ritual

Abbot told to cease face-gilding ritual

People seeking a better life and prosperity have been taking part in an unusual ritual at Wat Saralee in Nonthaburi's Muang district that involves monks gilding their entire face with gold leaf.

The temple abbot, Phra Khru Samunoppadol Piyathammo, said the ritual is known as Na Nar Tong and was intended to remind people to be always mindful and to practice the five precepts of Buddhism. 

Participants have mystic symbols drawn on their hands and gold leaf applied all over their face, which will bring them happiness and good fortune according to the abbot.

People wishing to take part in this ritual must first contact the temple and make a reservation. 

However, as the ritual continued to gain in popularity, the famous abbot of another temple in Nonthaburi on Monday reminded people to think carefully before engaging in it.

Phra Phayom Kalayano of Wat Suan Kaew advised followers to instead focus on heeding the law of karma, being diligent and doing good deeds.

On Monday afternoon, the ecclesiastical provincial governor of Nonthaburi, Phra Ratchanantamunee, visited Wat Saralee and asked the abbot to refrain from performing such rituals, and to take precautions against Covid-19. 

The abbot said he would comply with the request.

Photos by Bangkok Post

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